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Rangers-Flyers Preview

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Jaromir Jagr will remain a premier scorer, regardless of his role with the New York Rangers. Brendan Shanahan has never had trouble finding the back of the net, no matter what team he's playing for.

After a successful first game in their new assignments, Jagr and Shanahan lead the Rangers when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

In his first game as captain, wearing the "C" that Mark Messier made famous, Jagr burst up the ice during his first shift and scored 29 seconds into the game on the team's initial shot of the season to spark New York to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

Rangers coach Tom Renney went with alternate captains all of last season, the first following Messier's retirement after the NHL lockout. But during the team's first trip to the playoffs since 1997, Renney cited a noticeable leadership void when the Rangers were swept in the opening round by New Jersey.

Jagr was the obvious choice to take over in his third season in New York.

"We didn't want to have a big ceremony about it," Jagr said. "He just wanted to make it easy for me."

Shanahan, meanwhile, scored twice in his Rangers debut, becoming the 15th NHL player with 600 goals.

Playing on his fifth NHL team, Shanahan electrified the Madison Square Garden fans in the second period with a breakaway goal that gave New York a 3-1 lead. He reached the milestone in more typical fashion, scoring from in front of the net during a delayed-penalty call at 2:58 of the third.

"It's always great when you play your first game and you're able to score your first goal for your new team," Jagr said.

Shanahan joined the Rangers this summer after a long stint with the Detroit Red Wings that produced three Stanley Cup titles. The 37-year-old left wing signed a one-year deal worth $4 million after totaling 40 goals and 81 points in his final season with the Red Wings.

In 1,351 NHL games, Shanahan has 634 assists. He has 11 goals and 30 assists in 34 games against the Flyers, and had four assists in his only game against the them last season.

Jagr has 33 goals and 57 assists in 69 games versus Philadelphia, and had nine goals and six assists in eight meetings last season. Each team won four times.

While Jagr's debut as captain went very well, Peter Forsberg's first game in the same role for Philadelphia did not.

Forsberg, who had offseason ankle surgery, did not take a shot in 16 1/2 minutes of playing time as the Flyers lost 4-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday in their season opener.

"Every point is going to count, and it doesn't matter if it's the first game of the year or the last game of the year," said Forsberg, who has three goals and 23 assists in 20 games against the Rangers. "It's going to be a tight league this year and we have to grab every point we can get."

The Flyers lost despite having a 40-21 shots advantage. They were 0-for-10 on the power play, including a pair of two-man advantages.

The Rangers held Washington scoreless in eight power-play opportunities on Thursday. New York was the Eastern Conference's third-best penalty-killing team last season at 83.7 percent.

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